By the early 1990s, she found herself working as a secretary again, and speaking at elementary schools. "I started to hate traveling. I had trouble getting in and out of planes and cars," she said. "The most satisfying work was speaking to children." The death of her grandmother and the loss of her job hit her rather hard in recent years. Her health has since been in decline, and she's had money issues. At one point she was tried selling signed paint-by-number portraits for $45. While in physical therapy, she heard about the Sept. 11 attack. "I was scared and devastated," she said. "But it also made me want to go forward. It made me feel so close to other Americans, and that we are a country that's compassionate." "I've really struggled with depression, especially recently," she says. "The trick is to get yourself to realize that you can be compassionate and that you can find compassionate people. The idiots and the mean people, you can just ignore."
Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Thursdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.